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The All-New TT: Television Time Mini Reviews

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Oh! If you haven't watched Never Have I Ever yet, you could do that! It's on Netflix, and it's a very funny and positive teenager comedy/drama about an Indian-American family dealing with the sudden death of the dad/husband.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
I've never even heard of Ted Lasso before so I'll look that up to see what it's about.

Ted Lasso is one of those shows that, despite being like halfway through its second season, seems to have somehow just came into existence two weeks ago when everyone started talking about how popular it is.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Me too; it’s reached a point where I don’t know if anyone did watch it or everyone just knows to recommend it; like The Wire.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
and yet The Google Trends machine shows that there was, in fact, a dramatic (dramatic-dramatic) uptick in popularity fairly recently
(even on this very forums, where folks frequently ask for recommendations, half the discussion about Ted Lasso has been in the context of Kirin's question)
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
The graph makes plenty of sense. The show premiered on a streaming site that a lot of people didn't have and there wasn't a burst of people watching all at once, but it steadily gained an audience after the first season aired over time through word of mouth. Then the second season started and everyone who watched it at some random point in the last 12 months were all watching and talking about it at once.
 

John

(he/him)
We've been watching the latest season of Sex Education on Netflix, and it's good. At this point in the 3rd season, the major characters were pretty well fleshed out, so they picked two of the secondary characters and give them depth. They chose two of the most unlikeable characters and turned them into actual people, maybe with more nuance and flaws than the main set.

If you want a sex dramedy set in high school but starring much older people so you're not skeeved out by it, this is pretty good. It's very LGBTQIA+ supportive, and introduced a couple non-binary people this season. It doesn't have much on-screen representation of trans people, it feels like enby's is the "cause" in this season. Sometimes the dialog screams "I'm a writer composing a tweet showing how supportive I am about everyone's sexuality" and not something that actual teens would ever say. Barring that, it's a fun teen show, and Gillian Anderson is still great.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I watched The Chair, or at least parts of it. When it actually does the thing it is promising to do - focusing on a woman of color, who becomes chair of a department that is losing students - it is an interesting show. Also interesting, though less so, for me, are the scenes with her family, and the challenges it provides.

Unfortunately (spoiler, I guess), someone thought it was very important to include some shitty romance in there, about this poor, poor loser. Yeah, there is some drama that explains his shitty behaviour, but, ugh. He is horrible in every single way, except in one (he is really super duper good with the daughter of the protagonist), and this makes it so that she, of course, can't get rid of him, because, oh, he is so charming. I dunno, maybe find someone who is good with kids and can behave like an actual adult, instead of someone who hasn't developed since his early 20s? So much of the show focuses on this boring loser, and how he makes life harder for the protagonist. Like, maybe don't make a shitty Nazi joke in you class. And maybe, instead of behaving like a petulant child, and whining about how doing said shitty joke is so important to freedom of speech, or whatever (he likes that is sparks discussion, you know), just apologize (spoiler: he doesn't, except for the "I'm sorry that I made you feel bad", which the students get angry about, rightfully so).

I find this so frustrating, this show has real potential, and can be very interesting, but there has to be this obnoxious loser who we seem to need, because we can't NOT have romance in a tv show (about women, I guess, I don't know). Just show me a University campus from the side of a professor, instead of the students. That stuff is interesting. Shitty romances aren't.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Ted Lasso is one of those shows that, despite being like halfway through its second season, seems to have somehow just came into existence two weeks ago when everyone started talking about how popular it is.
Seconded. I had literally never heard of it until the past couple of weeks, and now I feel like I hear it mentioned a couple times a day, in sometimes surprising contexts. The first few times the name slid off my brain like teflon, but it eventually gained purchase just by sheer volume.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I got Amazon Prime a few weeks ago, and Prime Video has a bunch of Columbo seasons, which has led to me watching a lot of Columbo. It is very satisfying to see Columbo ultimately defeat these rich assholes through a campaign of smart observations and being extremely annoying.

If only real police liked to solve cases instead of showing up to your house hours late and then not take the screwdriver the burglars used to unscrew the CD player in your brother’s car. Don’t check it for prints or anything! We know you’ve got speed traps to camp out at and mass shootings to arrive at way too late!
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Basically every detail about Columbo makes me like Columbo more. Like the fact that he doesn't carry a gun, because what good is a gun for solving crimes.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
I'm about halfway through Midnight Mass, Mike Flanagan's new show (Mike Flanagan of Haunting of Hill House and Haunting of Bly Manor) and it feels pretty uneven. It looks great, the sets* and shooting locations are visually quite nice, the acting is great (it turns out Penny from Grey's Anatomy is actually a good actress, it's just that the material and directions she was given in GA were trash), but everything else is a bit....

The concept seems a bit more Stephen King homage than the more horror-focused Hill House and Bly Manor (and obviously those shows also weren't really "about" the horror elements), and I'm finding the actual supernatural spook 'em up element to be kind of dumb so far. Also the plot line they've given Rahul Kohli so far is real bad, and it maybe wouldn't be an issue if he was just a component of his character instead of the only thing he's really gotten a chance to talk about!

Uh, animal lovers probably won't love episode 2!

* I don't know if this is gonna matter later but I'm gonna spoiler just in case: I wasn't all that sure what time period this was supposed to take place in since the main family has a corded land line, a record player, and an old CRT with dials, and we see the main character's room has posters of like, The X-Files and stuff, but then Rahul Kohli's son has a smart phone and we find out the main character was, what, a venture capitalist or something for a tech startup, so I'm unclear if this is (A) A Chilling Adventures of Sabrina moment where it's just the aesthetic the show has chosen; (B) a show where they think poor people don't own anything made after 1992; or (C) Meaningful Choices About A Different Dark Secret Of The Island
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
What We Do in The Shadows can execute an old joke with the best of them. Nadja and Nandor are on the vampire counsel, and were petitioned by Jennifer the Dreadfully Loathsome to be allowed to change her terrible name. So now she is know as
Gabby the Dreadfully Loathsome
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I'm about halfway through Midnight Mass, Mike Flanagan's new show (Mike Flanagan of Haunting of Hill House and Haunting of Bly Manor) and it feels pretty uneven. It looks great, the sets* and shooting locations are visually quite nice, the acting is great (it turns out Penny from Grey's Anatomy is actually a good actress, it's just that the material and directions she was given in GA were trash), but everything else is a bit....

The concept seems a bit more Stephen King homage than the more horror-focused Hill House and Bly Manor (and obviously those shows also weren't really "about" the horror elements), and I'm finding the actual supernatural spook 'em up element to be kind of dumb so far. Also the plot line they've given Rahul Kohli so far is real bad, and it maybe wouldn't be an issue if he was just a component of his character instead of the only thing he's really gotten a chance to talk about!
I just finished episode 5 last night. This show is going a direction I wasn't really expecting*. I'm a little bummed the horror elements aren't really as pronounced as his Haunting shows, but I can appreciate that he's really trying to hit on something else this time. Also, re: the Stephen King homage, Beverly reminds me so much of that terrible terrible lady from The Mist. I know it's a kind of stock character archetype, but she is such an awful person.

* Yeah I definitely wasn't guessing Catholic Vampires.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
I just finished episode 5 last night. This show is going a direction I wasn't really expecting*. I'm a little bummed the horror elements aren't really as pronounced as his Haunting shows, but I can appreciate that he's really trying to hit on something else this time. Also, re: the Stephen King homage, Beverly reminds me so much of that terrible terrible lady from The Mist. I know it's a kind of stock character archetype, but she is such an awful person.

* Yeah I definitely wasn't guessing Catholic Vampires.

I think the show improved after I posted that since it did go in a different direction than I expected it to. Spoiler for thing you have seen at that point: The end of episode 5 was actually incredible, the actress's wails of terror are unmatched.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
Spoilers for the whole Midnight Mass series, which I'm putting in a separate post:
It's very strange, because despite being more graphically violent and having scenes that seem to be more in line with traditional horror movies, it still, for the most part, feels less horror focused than Bly and Hill. Maybe it's because I've watched enough of the hit The CW franchise The Vampire Diaries and spin offs The Originals and Legacies that it takes a lot of the shock and scare out of a vampire story? (this is much less violent than those btw!)

On the other hand the finale felt much more haunting and terrifying than Hill and Bly, but maybe we can chalk it up to the concept of, like, people just waiting for the impending, inescapable societal-wide destruction being something I find really scary?
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I think the show improved after I posted that since it did go in a different direction than I expected it to. Spoiler for thing you have seen at that point: The end of episode 5 was actually incredible, the actress's wails of terror are unmatched.
Yeah so I was mistaken when I wrote that post and it was actually episode 4 I finished, but now I've seen episode 5 and... just wow. That immediately bumped the show into "can recommend to anyone even mildly curious."
 
I've watched the first episode of The Foundation.


I've not read the Isaac Asimov books they're based on, but the ideas in them are so foundational to a lot of sci-fi that the ideas expressed here feel both fresh and stale at the same time, if that makes sense. Fresh in that there's been nothing in recent memory that attempts the scope and ambition of speculative sci-fi like this. Stale in that again, all these ideas are now 70 years old and have permeated the culture to become part of it.

I've got a lot of thoughts and feelings on just this first episode. This first episode was wonderful to look at and very well written and very interesting to watch and have unfold and full of delightful acting jobs. But the core ideas at the heart of this are extremely simple and honestly kind of bad. Like, Ayn Rand levels of bad this isn't how any of this works and has and will give the wrong people all the wrong ideas. Like, I find it telling that apparently Elon Musk and Newt Gingrich have both professed the source materials were great influences on them.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I've watched the first episode of The Foundation.


I've not read the Isaac Asimov books they're based on, but the ideas in them are so foundational to a lot of sci-fi that the ideas expressed here feel both fresh and stale at the same time, if that makes sense. Fresh in that there's been nothing in recent memory that attempts the scope and ambition of speculative sci-fi like this. Stale in that again, all these ideas are now 70 years old and have permeated the culture to become part of it.

I've got a lot of thoughts and feelings on just this first episode. This first episode was wonderful to look at and very well written and very interesting to watch and have unfold and full of delightful acting jobs. But the core ideas at the heart of this are extremely simple and honestly kind of bad. Like, Ayn Rand levels of bad this isn't how any of this works and has and will give the wrong people all the wrong ideas. Like, I find it telling that apparently Elon Musk and Newt Gingrich have both professed the source materials were great influences on them.
I have never heard of this (last time was ten years ago, when Michael Bay, or some other action hero guy, wanted to make a movie out of the Foundation. Weeeelll...the trailor looks way too action-y for me, but I guess you can't just have people talking, for 90 % of the time, in a TV show. I'm surprised that they chose the fall of Trantor, instead of the actual Foundation stuff, but ok, that part is interesting too. Or could be.

Dunno, I guess I need to watch something. Or could you just spoil a bit of what happens in that episode, specifically the stuff that is so simplistic. I'm very curious about any adaptation of Asimovs stories. I don't think I actually have the means to see any of this, for now.
 
There is almost no traditional action in the first episode. Plenty of expensive CGI to demonstrate the wonder of the cosmos and hyper-tech, however. I only vaguely know about what happens in the book series, so take my evaluation with a grain of salt but it seems like they're abridging the prequel books into the first episode, then moving on to the meat of the original book in the later episodes.

The first episode: Starts with the POV character traveling to Trantor to take an apprenticeship with Hari Seldon, and is immediately greeted with charges of sedition when she lands b/c Seldon's mathematical voodoo is seen as subversive by the Empire. They get tried in a kangaroo court by Dr Bashir, and just as they're going to be taken out back to get executed, terrorists destroy the orbital elevator in a big flashy and horrifying sequence. The Emperor pragmatically shifts his designs to allow Seldon to create his Foundation, but exiles him to the far reaches of the galaxy where he can't actively foment rebellion, only serve as a symbol of hope to maintain the status quo for as long as possible. The episode closes out on Seldon and his protoge setting off on a decades long trek to reach their destination at Terminous. So it seems like they're saving the actual Foundation stuff for the rest of the episodes imo.

I don't think I actually have the means to see any of this, for now.
If you're adverse to sailing the seven seas, there's tons of ways to get free Apple+ test trials. I'd recommend maybe waiting until the season is finished and then marathon a trial. Or find someone who has like a half year or a year sub that typically comes with new iphones/ipads that they aren't using and to use it.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I haven't read Foundation, but from reviews of the show I am given to understand that this is a very loose adaptation.

I watched the first two episodes: I don't know how much I like it, but at the very least it is ambitious.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
There is almost no traditional action in the first episode. Plenty of expensive CGI to demonstrate the wonder of the cosmos and hyper-tech, however. I only vaguely know about what happens in the book series, so take my evaluation with a grain of salt but it seems like they're abridging the prequel books into the first episode, then moving on to the meat of the original book in the later episodes.

The first episode: Starts with the POV character traveling to Trantor to take an apprenticeship with Hari Seldon, and is immediately greeted with charges of sedition when she lands b/c Seldon's mathematical voodoo is seen as subversive by the Empire. They get tried in a kangaroo court by Dr Bashir, and just as they're going to be taken out back to get executed, terrorists destroy the orbital elevator in a big flashy and horrifying sequence. The Emperor pragmatically shifts his designs to allow Seldon to create his Foundation, but exiles him to the far reaches of the galaxy where he can't actively foment rebellion, only serve as a symbol of hope to maintain the status quo for as long as possible. The episode closes out on Seldon and his protoge setting off on a decades long trek to reach their destination at Terminous. So it seems like they're saving the actual Foundation stuff for the rest of the episodes imo.


If you're adverse to sailing the seven seas, there's tons of ways to get free Apple+ test trials. I'd recommend maybe waiting until the season is finished and then marathon a trial. Or find someone who has like a half year or a year sub that typically comes with new iphones/ipads that they aren't using and to use it.

Thanks for the write-up. It's...dunno, just weird that they chose a part that is short, even in the books.

Some context from the books, which might explain my light confusion: The original Foundation Trilogy plays a few decades after the Foundation is established, with Hari Seldon long dead. The Empire only appears two or three short stories in, but as clearly dying.

Real-World Decades later, Asimov wrote some other books in the same universe. One of them is about Hari Seldons life, how he got the idea for Psycho-History (basically the mathematical science, which allows one to calculate the future by analyzing trends of giant groups of people), how he developed it, and how, after some time, his wife, and later his son, would die, with him becoming an old man. The first part is its own book, the latter a collection of, I think, four short stories. And I think only the last one really deals with the setup from the series.


I mean, there are changes here, which is fine. And yeah, I assume they will do a time skip...it's kind of important that Seldon is already dead, I think.

I just got the impression that they focused on the stuff BEFORE the actual Foundation, but that is probably nonsense, just a wrong impression. I guess I've got stronger attachment to the books than I thought, and am overly protective of the story being done "the right way". But yeah, I'll watch the show (Apple+ seems to actually exist here in Austria, which isn't true for all streaming services, but I also don't mind finding other ways). But yeah, I'll watch it when it is done. I really need to form my own opinion on this show.
 

Lakupo

Comes and goes with the wind
(he/him)
I mean, there are changes here, which is fine. And yeah, I assume they will do a time skip...it's kind of important that Seldon is already dead, I think.
There's some flashes of the time skip in the first episode as well, but the rest of the show doesn't really catch up to that until the 3rd episode. (and it sandwiches in some loose skipping around to the past of the Empire in there just to be extra confusing, haha)

I'm definitely planning to watch in support of more ridiculously expensive ambitious sci-fi on TV. Do I expect the show to be great? No, but so far it's interesting and nice to look at. I don't expect it to be "faithful" either (I haven't read the books, but I know they are very talky!) However, so far it seems like the broad stokes are there.

Edited to add: Speaking of ambitious, apparently the show runner has an 8 year plan for the show, and I'm like "Welp! Good luck with that!"
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Decided to subscribe to Shudder for the month and started watching Creepshow. It's fine. I really liked the dollhouse episode but the end was a letdown as I was hoping it was a story where the character's ingenuity would shine and instead it's... just shitty stuff that happens. Neat idea, though.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
It seems weird to adapt Foundation at all, because it's less a novel than a series of speculative connected short stories with no recurring characters.
 
But the core ideas at the heart of this are extremely simple and honestly kind of bad. Like, Ayn Rand levels of bad this isn't how any of this works and has and will give the wrong people all the wrong ideas. Like, I find it telling that apparently Elon Musk and Newt Gingrich have both professed the source materials were great influences on them.

what's funny is that Foundation runs in the grand tradition of also being a work that is cited as an influence by terrible people who deliberately misunderstand it

to give credit to Asimov, while people like ol' Muskie love to say "oh yeah, psychohistory is what got me into hard sciences, etc.", at the end of Foundation and Empire (the original 2nd book) it's revealed
there are two Foundations, and that the one you'd been reading about the whole time was always destined to fuck up and fail because that's what happens when you put STEM-types in charge.
(which isn't to say the rest of the ideas contained therein are good, but)
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Yeah I haven't read the Foundation books since I was a kid, but I still remember one of the overarching themes turning out to be that you might be able to model humans with math for a while, but eventually someone will fuck you up by being human (well, technically meta-human, but it's still the unpredictability of an individual mind that screws everything).
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
We've been watching the latest season of Sex Education on Netflix, and it's good. At this point in the 3rd season, the major characters were pretty well fleshed out, so they picked two of the secondary characters and give them depth. They chose two of the most unlikeable characters and turned them into actual people, maybe with more nuance and flaws than the main set.

If you want a sex dramedy set in high school but starring much older people so you're not skeeved out by it, this is pretty good. It's very LGBTQIA+ supportive, and introduced a couple non-binary people this season. It doesn't have much on-screen representation of trans people, it feels like enby's is the "cause" in this season. Sometimes the dialog screams "I'm a writer composing a tweet showing how supportive I am about everyone's sexuality" and not something that actual teens would ever say. Barring that, it's a fun teen show, and Gillian Anderson is still great.

I just caught up with S3 of Sex Education. I feel like this season tipped the balance in shifting too much focus away from its main characters. I mean, I realize that that was sort of the point, but the first 2 seasons did a lot with Maeve, Otis and Eric, and this season it felt like they kind of got lost. Its not that the widened scope, and introduction of a lot more varied cast, was bad, but there was a trade off in cohesion and focus that hampered my enjoyment some.
 

John

(he/him)
I can see that, but I appreciated the switch, because the main crew was getting tired to me. The one I thought was hampered the most was Gillian Anderson, since her character just turned into Old Pregnant Mom.
 
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